[Foss4g2008loc] budget comment summary and response

Gavin Fleming GavinF at mintek.co.za
Tue Nov 13 17:47:06 EST 2007

Hi all
There's been much discussion about the budget the past few days (finally!). Some specific comments and attempts at answers follow. Petro from PeopleSA will send her wrap-up with fixes after this, then we hope to have a budget that the OSGeo Finance Committee can approve. 
*	Dewald asked if the recent invoice from PeopleSA was the only invoice for professional services. Answer: No, it is the first of three. The first two are a third of the estimated total conference cost and the third will be reconciled with the actual conference cost, based on a fee of 7.5% of total conference cost. 
*	Paul asked to see sponsorship targets. A: A preliminary report from our database was distributed on Monday. The next report will show some sort of ranking and more detail. PLEASE ALL PROVIDE INPUT AS REQUESTED. 
*	Paul asked: So, give me some comfort here: 
		*	what does GISSA do in sponsorship, usually?  A: AfricaGIS/GISSA2005 was around R1500000 (please confirm Carrin) 
		*	What do they do in attendance? A: AfricaGIS/GISSA2005 was around 800 and that was mainly from Africa. 
		*	What are their attendance fees?  A: Carrin or other please comment 
		*	What do the GISSA people think of this budget?  A: GISSA people please comment! From my discussions I gather that GISSA people believe it's doable. 
		*	How does it compare to their past events? A: GISSA people please comment!
*	Paul: The head note, that students will be allowed in at R240, the "cost of food" does not line up with the food costs lower down the page, which are much much higher than that. A: See earlier comments by Carrin and others. Yes, this needs to be raised. We're open to suggestions as to how best to handle student registration. 
*	Carrin: GISSA members discount (about R150?). I agree with it - Petro please introduce it as per Carrin's suggestion, say for 400 GISSA members?
*	Paul: I see two undifferentiated expense items that I would like broken out:
		*	Computer Equipment.  What's the per-unit cost here?  It looks over twice our 2007 cost. A: The budget says it's R3550 per unit for the week. We haven't shopped around here too much as we're really pushing for a direct sponsor who will then donate the computers to schools and universities. We have some positive leads for this. 
		*	Gifts for Delegates.  Again, what comprises this?  We got by on about $10 per person (bag'n'shirt), this seems to be about three times that. A: If this ends up being a pure cost we'll do it cheaply. But again we are seeking direct sponsorhip of these items so we hope to have some really nice goodies in the bag. 
*	Paul: Food pricing appears similar to Victoria, which is fine, but I was given the impression this was one of the areas where SA would easily beat us in providing value for money. A: Perhaps Petro could comment here. I believe this goes along with the venue. We are paying a premium for both since it's one of very few venues that can handle this size conference and it's in huge demand as well as being recently rated the top conference destination in the world. So we have to bite the bullet on that one. Food and bev for other attendee costs outside the conference hours should be cheaper, but then again, there's a huge range of prices in a city like Cape Town. In general these prices were at least double in Victoria compared to what I'm accustomed to in SA. 
*	Paul: Could you explain the Gala Dinner.  Is R370 full cost recovery?    
	That's what it costs, and that's what we're charging delegates?  (If so, hear hear, let the days of subsidizing the gala end.) A: It's treated as one of the general costs at the moment with the idea that everyone goes, removing the affordability issue which would keep a lot of delegates out. It's a fantastic venue and we want everyone there. So I guess as the budget stands it's being partly covered by registration fees and partly by sponsorhip.
*	Paul: How does "Final On-site Programme" (R12000) differ from "various costs associated with printing of abstract book" (R40000) ? A: The Programme is the equivalent of what FOSS4G2007 had - find your way around the venue, choose labs and presentations, etc. The Abstract book is a full book of complete abstracts of each presentation, which we normally do at GISSA conferences and which wasn't done at FOSS4G2007. We've put the cost in so there are no surprises, but what we end up doing re Abstracts and paper vs online will depend on decisions over the coming months.  
*	Paul: Are we planning on two (2) invited speakers at R33000 each?  That would include speaking fees, I assume, with that much money. A: We're budgeting for 2, not necessarily planning on 2. It's still early days.
*	Paul: 
		*	Is the exhibition hall layout flexible? A: Yes
		*	For how long? A: It's going through 'final' changes this week - see latest version of Prospectus. I guess it shouldn't change too much after we've put it to the market, but it can. 
		*	You have the dressing costs in there already, assuming a certain number of exhibitors, presumably we can downsize if necessary?  A: Petro can comment. We have to pay for the full space but I believe we only pay for the dressing costs for the stands we sell.
		*	Does this exhibition hall size match GISSA previous experience? A: Magda (exhibitor coordinator) tells me it's a little bigger than the space at AfricaGIS 2005 but a lot depends on how we configure it. Fire and other regulations contrain the space we can squeeze booths, food service and demo theatre into. We don't have a separate room for the demo theatre unless we double up one of the workshop rooms so we plan to build one up right in the exhibition space and cover it through a direct sponsorship. 
*	 Paul: The venue cost is double what was anticipated in the bid, any reason for that?  (Almost three times the Victoria cost.) A: see my comment on food above. Same answer! Plus PeopleSA have done a lot of negotiating for ideal and sufficient rooms. I believe it's minimised where possible. e.g. we only use and pay for the main auditorium on the Monday and Thursday and we've tried to get maximum use out of it. All other spaces are probably already sold to other users.  
*	Paul: What's the cost of exhibiting going to be? A: This will depend on final floorplan due in the next day or two but we're looking at from R12500 for early non-profit to R20000 for late commercial per 3x3m stand. 
*	Frank and Dave M: "Note also that the revenues and expenses for the conference are the single largest component of the OSGeo budget, and go a long way to satisfying the needs of our non-profit  501(c)(3) status. This means we need to take particular care to ensure any contracting etc.. is handled appropriately to ensure we can count these funds towards OSGeo's overall revenues/expenses." A: I'm not sure how relevant this is if I read it correctly. OSGeo has no revenue or expenses at present relating to this conference. Once the budget is approved and an agreement between GISSA and OSGeo signed, we'll know the extent of OSGeo's investment / expenses / risk and potential revenue / profit share. Carrin is working on the agreement at present. Dave M, please pick up the next version of the budget that gets sent to the LOC in the next day or two and take that to the Finance Committee for consideration, along with the (draft) agreement that Carrin should be sending out soon. 
Some comparative musings on sponsorship and exhibitors.
I see in the 2007 Prospectus that CND210000 was sought from sponsors alone as per the prospectus offerings (=~R1500000) - about the same as we're looking at this year. 
I seem to remember from a post that CND160000 was obtained for 2007, although Paul says in another post thatCND125000 was obtained from sponsors and exhibitors after hoping for CND150000.
Our target is R1500000 and based on AfricaGIS/GISSA2005, it's possible. 
Again, I ask that when you look at the budget spreadsheet, you play around with variables like numbers of delegates, exchange rate, registration fee and proportion of early bird registrations. This will either satisfy your curiosity or aloow you to make specific comments for improvement, or where risks really are!
All in all, my opinion is that although the budget is big and the sponsorship ask is also substantial, we can pull it off. We have a team of dedicated, experienced and passionate people and enough time. South Africa in 2008 is the right place and time for FOSS4G!
I hope I've 'given you some comfort'!
Gavin Fleming MSc
Senior GISc and Sustainable Development Researcher 
FOSS4G2008 <http://www.foss4g2008.org/>  conference chair
Mintek, 200 Malibongwe Drive (formerly Hans Strijdom Drive)
P/Bag X3015, Randburg, 2125, South Africa
w: +27-11-709-4668 c: 0845965680 f: 0866164820
xmpp (Jabber, Google Talk, etc.): gavinjfleming at gmail.com <mailto:gavinjfleming at gmail.com> 
Skype: phlemingo
27.9782E 26.0896S
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